Monday, October 26, 2009


There are one hundred bazillion people around me right now looking smug and thrilled with all of the work they are getting done on their laptops. I am not getting any work done. I am not getting any work period. Dear Universe, please send me in the direction of a cool job. I nearly started crying at Rabbi's bar today when some turd from Tim Hortons swept over and got the job that I wanted. FML. Oh well, I guess running around my neighborhood (now clear of all teen zombies) in a wool cape and getting-there long hair will have to suffice. Tomorrow I print for the first time in six/seven months. I am shitting my pants with fret. But oh oh oh how I miss being elbow deep in ink and the smells from the solvent room. Puff, puff, pass. I best be off. Lisel and I have our first figure drawing class tonight and I do not know how to draw anymore. Should be interesting.

One more thing. This photo is brilliant and when I saw it, I had a sharp intake of breath. I hope someone will do this over my photos someday. I also hope Frances will be this cool.

Whinging, still.

Jobless in Winnipeg and trying to be calm, Madge.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Zombie walk.

I was perched in the doorway of F/Q poaching internet when Luke Marvin strolled by wearing a bow tie and a suit. We went back to my new home and had to step over a pile of Zombie blood (read: red Jello) at the foot of the door to my building. Halloween is brewing, the Zombies are out tonight. Quite literally; there are eight hundred teens dressed in bad Zombie, throwing handfuls of Jello at cars in the Exchange. I love Halloween and I love my neighborhood.


East meets West.

This one’s for me.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Yosh penned those very lyrics years ago and just now they floated up to the surface of thought and I quickly remembered to thank him quietly for doing just so. My music knowledge is pitiful and at times quite embarrassing. I am shit at karaoke and I will never be one of those people (like Yosh) who can memorize entire songs both lyrically and musically. I will never, ever be able to quote them whole or write them messily on the back of junk mail or take out menus (like Yosh). But once in a while, bits and pieces of things I have heard or read at one point will float up in thought at the very appropriate moment and become relevant. Tonight, this one’s for me.

For days and days and days I have sat at this very computer wanting to write, needing to write and most definitely not being able to write. One of my favorite women (Rags) and I were chatting two days ago about this very thing. I sat on her kitchen counter eating yogurt out of the tub and she shaped a quinoa burger into a mouthwatering patty and while I watched her hands work (mine were idle, save for the yogurt spooning), we mulled over our collective writer’s blocks. She got over hers with a beautifully written post (read it and weep) and I have yet to get over mine.

Hi Andrea, you are boarding a train (!!!) with your husband as I type. All of your beautifully packed snacks are bumping softly against your thigh as you haul all of your and Scott’s shit into your very first sleeper berth. Your eyes are shining and I can so easily picture the grin that you have pasted to your face.


And for good measure. Enjoy your first train trip, girl. (You will read this when you get home and nod because you will remember that grin pasted on your face too). God, what I would give to sleep in a train tonight (Rabbi, you with me on this one?). The gentle jostling, the noisy breathing, the whooshing of wheels, the blinding fluorescent lights at all the stations; I remember now. Rags, tomorrow you will wake up in pretty Ontario, having long slept through boring Manitoba. A lot of interesting things can occur in thought while looking through a train window.

Exactly two years ago to date, Katie, Rebecca and I boarded a train in Berlin, bidding the city and the sinking light adieu and wound through German countryside towards our new home, Prague. For some reason we were given a private room on the train and I remember how carefully we had packed fruit, baguette, cheese, chocolate (Milka) and a few bottles of dollar wine for the ride. Kit and Rab slumped together across from me, sharing an ipod like sisters and I listened to Yosh sing and I couldn’t stop my eyes from searching the dark as the train flew further into the dark.

I want to go back.
I want to go back.
I want to go back.

I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was—I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the diving line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.

- an excerpt from Kerouac’s On the Road

Will I ever be content with exactly where I am? I have this gorgeous new home filled to the tits with all of my favorite things, my bicycles with nice parts (my best friend Jessica Alba, and my boyfriend The Surly), a wine rack that is heaving with family generosity (thank you Tante and Uncle James), a fakey fireplace, a desk sighing under the weight of art supplies and mock ups and prints of Christmas past. I have silkscreen jobs lined up until kingdom come and yet I am still left wanting. What? Travel? Yes. Work? Yes. Love? Always.

When is enough, enough?
Tonight as I straddle my own line of youth and future, I am content sitting at home listening to vinyl (Timbre Timbre) and drinking the beer that my dad left for me (thank you, I just took the last sip and thought of you), but I cannot help but wish for a gorgeous mouth to keep me company.

A confession. Two nights in a row now I have found myself dressed head to toe in planting wear (tights, smock, wool sweater, socks, toque etc.) and every time I catch myself pulling on the familiar clothes (it is a very slow process) I have to laugh. At least it is nice to know that I fell in love with that. I am already gearing up for next season by the looks of things.

Praying for spring, Madge.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Company's coming.

Oh me oh my. This home is utterly undoing me.

Today was nice. Three men who would easily fall under the 65-70 category flirted relentlessly with me over my familiar counter at the bakery today. The lengths some people will go for a free refill. Regardless, their charm worked like a charm. There is just something about the twinkliness of old men's faces that gets me every time. I am sitting at yet another bar, poaching internet like it is going out of style in my new neighborhood. The post work suit crowd is filing up and down and comically juxtaposed against the neo-hippy, the homeless, the art fag, the graphic designer and the wanna be sartorialist demographic that takes up the bulk of space in here. It feels good to be a part of the mix, not quite in, not quite out. Just right.

My home is getting close to warm. This is good.

I am anxious for my company to arrive! I can barely type I am so excited.

I wish the home below was mine. Then again, I am NOT complaining; I am in love with my new one.

Too much coffee. This is bonkers.

Friday, October 16, 2009

An open letter to Liza Minnelli.

Dear Liza,

I saved your party-hatted face as my desktop background. Does that freak you out? I hope not. Today I walked around and around my home thinking of you. The only thing it is missing is you. Christmas is coming; you better be too. Same bed, same girl, same top bun, same shit; different pile, different babe lair.

Come all ye faithful.

I miss the shit out of you.

Poaching internet because I don't have any.

Love you, Madge.

ps: I will send my address as soon as I learn it. Yes, I know how ludacris that sounds.
pps: You are falling love??!?! Wicked.

Land of babes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Coat in my throat.

One more thing: no trouser's were found (I gave up/lost all faith after combing every last one of the racks at Zara [to no avail which is okay because I have come to the conclusion that trousers are for thirty year olds who have a handle on their finances]) but I did rope in one hell of an unnecessary jacket. Get ready, Winnipeg. Keep your eyes peeled for a walking hairball on heels come Wednesday. Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum.

Her Madgesty is en route, faux fur et al.

*JJ and Richard, I miss you already (I am still in your white and wood living room). Shit.

Also, here is a list of the new vinyl safely stowed in my carryon. It is going to be a very good winter.

- Timber Timber
- Dev's Cripple Crow
- old, old Fleetwood Mac
- Bell Orchestre
- Mt. Eerie
- Vetiver
- old Band of Horses

Table pho one.

There is a giant tiger head on the dining room table. It is so casual just sitting there, it is comical. Oddly enough, I just finished rereading my favorite book about Mabel Stark, world renowned tiger trainer from the 1920's circus scene. I was born the Year of the Tiger. I also like stripes. Therefore, therefore nothing.

The light is low, so low I know my Dad would be concerned if he were to enter JJ's living room right now, but I like it. JJ is snoring in bed, Richard is tucked in across the hall and with sleep having escaped me, I am curled in the white and wood living room typing and thinking about a million things. One of those things being tigers and the circus and photography and how good the Mount Eerie/Julie Doiron collaboration is. Tomorrow's To Do's include stocking up on bagels before I go and clocking an hour or two with Lo's French-from-France artist beau Remi at his work table (who is nothing short of a genius with ink and expensive cardstock oh oh oh), maybe visiting the Belgo and Le Cagibi one last time even though it makes me sad and ashamed of a certain phone booth heartbreak when I walk through the door. But the coffee is the best there so I have no choice but to muscle through the initial regret and find my table in the front window and settle into the fading paisley arm chair (that I have fallen in love with and claimed as my own) with Mabel Stark and an allonge in hand; sans regrets.

Moving on.

My time in La Belle province has been so warm and so warranted and so good for me thanks to the people that I am surrounded by. The company of Richard and JJ and Loco is a constant reminder that home is something we carry inside of ourselves. But on the note of home, I miss mine and am looking forward to going home to a home, not just to a bed in someone's something. I want to stay up late with Devendra and Timbre Timbre and put my new saddle on my Surly and go for a long night ride so long as the snow has left town. If the snow is there when I return, I will still lovingly change over the old saddle for the new and hang up both bikes for the winter season.

Good, I am looking forward to being in my home.

Yesterday I ate my Sunday Thanksgiving dinner alone in a Pho noodle house in pretend Vietnam, Montreal. There were so many long tables laden with eight hundred kinds of food for so many three to four generational Vietnamese families (oblivious to Canadian Thanksgiving) that I was caught off guard when my chest heaved from missing my own family. It was a good lesson Mother, a lesson on the importance of attendance that rooted itself in the depths of my body. I won't be going anywhere for a while. I sat there, head bowed slightly, my pens and drawing pad speckled with chicken stock and gave thanks for my own family and friends and the Vietnamese food in front of me and the city that has been such a pleasure to explore alone. Montreal, I am giving thanks. Thanks for being unreal. (Photographic evidence to come, refer back).

I am thankful for you, and you, and you.

Why do I love Vietnamese food so much? I guess I am a Vietnamese tiger at heart.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Trouser talk.

There is something about this photograph that makes me take all the extra and unnecessary steps to view it again and again. I have no words, other than to say that she is a lady who wears trousers perfectly. And that is not easy, in my humble books. I suppose it is safe to say that I am in the market for some trousers. Interesting.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We are so young.

I am in JJ and Richard's white and wood apartment in pretend Europe, Montreal. They have french windows (I know) and plants that are growing like manicured and babied weeds. Richard looks so handsome when he smokes standing up. JJ is in the background laughing on the floor. Today Richard shot a Fuji polaroid of us standing outside of their lovely home: me in stripes and the Hawk's specs, braids wound around my head, JJ in black and leather and fur, curls flying. We are laughing and looking silly in the crisp black and white photo. I just looked at it now lying on Richard's desk beside his pretty bell jar, just before I approached the computer to sit and to record the day's day. Too much to write. I stood looking at it over Michael's shoulder thinking that someday I will look back and think "God, we were young once". Because we were. Because we are.

We are so young.

So anyway, with that concept in mind, I am in Montreal--land of french bagels and gay babes--being young. Last night we tromped down the street in heels to dance at some ridiculous bar in the Village. Sadly no one told us there was a Wood Nymph slash Spirit Animal avec headdress theme. Lo befriended a fellow crow with a token Montreal lesbian haircut and wore the most amazing feather headdress of all time. Only Loco. But before all that, Loco, the light of my life came to JJ's pre crow-jam with lips dripping red (amazing amazing) and a bottle of red in the crook of her arm. At one point when the three of us were squawking on JJ's bed, shooting the shit at rapid fire pace, one of us stopped for a moment and shed light on the fact that the three of us were finally in the same room together.

Long. Over. Due.

They are so lovely. This morning we ate brunch, haggardly, partook in a lung or two, and got ready for the Pop Art craftsale in Mile End. This was around the time when Richard thought it appropriate to take our photo on our merry way out the door because we were being such ridiculous girls. (I do not remember the last time I have been such a girl. This coming from the girl who spent the summer being anything but ladylike... no wonder).

We had a lovely day. Long walks in wool tights and heels in coral leaves, bagels and cream cheese, vinyl shopping in church basements (Devendra, Timbre Timbre and Bell Orchestre scores among others), meeting friends new and old in the neighborhood, sipping the best coffee in beautiful cafes (everywhere), eating pastries, talking silk screen shop with secret co-op printers (new art for my new home) and taking so so so many photos. The best part was standing on a street corner in this beautiful neighborhood with a bag on my shoulder filled with new vinyl and watching someone walking down the street towards me with a very familiar swagger. Sure enough, we came closer to our respective stoplights and hugged in the middle of the avenue, neither of us paying attention to anything else. Only Alfie; no words necessary. It was a brilliant day. I like this city a lot a lot.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One girl, two bikes.

This morning I woke up in a bed, in my bed, sat up and looked into a beautiful room filled to the tits with broken down boxes and two bicycles (two bicycles in the same room again?!?!? It cannot be! Yes it can) and two giant golden windows that span from floor to ceiling and plants in their rightful spots and a fakey fireplace. Ohmygoodness, it feels good to be home. I have been waiting to type that for a very long time. It feels good to be home. (Liza you will shit).

It feels good to be home.
It feels good to be home.
It feels good to be home.

This is my home. Better quality photos to come post Montreal.